Batman: The Brave and the Bold #17

I don’t know what it says about me that I find the most satisfying periodical comics coming out of DC to be their kids’ books. Perhaps those are the ones that best grasp the wonder and imagination that should underly superhero stories.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #17

At a time when I’m severely disappointed in many of the “real” DC comics, I was refreshed and relieved by reading Batman: The Brave and the Bold #17. It’s a “week in the life” story showing Batman teaming up (since that’s the premise of the book) with a variety of other heroes. What he does is standard (as it has to be, since each day only gets a couple of pages) … but I was impressed by the sheer diversity of characters chosen for these escapades. Here’s the rundown:

  • Metamorpho
  • The Green Lantern Corps
  • Merry, Girl of 1,000 Gimmicks (I love her!)
  • Jonah Hex and Bat Lash
  • Hawkman
  • The Inferior Five
  • The Creeper

Just look at that variety! There’s science, space opera, escapism, Western, horror, and parody. I’m thrilled to be reminded by just how many wonderful concepts are part of the DC universe — and disappointed how many of them are going unused. I’m also saddened by the thought of how difficult it may be for someone who wants to see more of these characters to find them.

Impressively, Batman works with all of them, as each brings out a different side of or technique used by the character. That’s a testament to the enduring power of what was originally just a pulp takeoff.

I also quite enjoyed the special Super-Pets issue of Tiny Titans, #28, but I don’t know what I can say about that. Either hearing the theme concept makes you instantly want it, or you have no love for whimsy. This is a comic where Ace the Bathound gets his own sidekick, a robin Robin. And boy Robin’s response is simply, “Where’d he find a cape that small?”

12 Responses to “Batman: The Brave and the Bold #17”

  1. Julia L Says:

    I love the Batman: Brave and the Bold book. It’s wacky as anything and I get to embrace my inner 8 year old. The art is a little scattershot sometimes. But they’re old-fashioned *fun* which sometimes you need in a pile of grim and dark comics.

  2. John Jakala Says:

    Sounds like fun! I’d forgotten there was a kids comic to go along with the cartoon (which my son loves) so I’ll have to get the first TPB for him.

  3. Joshua Says:

    Johanna, you’re so right about Merry. And idea that Toyman would think her his soulmate? Adorable.

  4. Anthony Says:

    Not the first time Ace got a robin “Robin” sidekick—it happened on the “Krypto the Superdog” cartoon a few years ago, as well (though there it didn’t work out as well for Ace)… :-)

  5. Johanna Says:

    Joshua, yes, loved that part! Anthony, oh, dear, I’m afraid to ask. That cartoon was lots of fun, too!

  6. Jer Says:

    I don’t know what it says about me that I find the most satisfying periodical comics coming out of DC to be their kids’ books. Perhaps those are the ones that best grasp the wonder and imagination that should underly superhero stories.

    They’re among the only superhero comics on the stands where the writers don’t seem to be actively embarrassed about the fact that they’re writing superhero comics. That’s what I like about them. Most of the mainstream comics on the stands seem to be written by people who are embarrassed by the idea of superheroes – even if they love them – so they write in the “people with powers” genre instead of the “superhero” genre.

    In a kids book the writers don’t have to be embarrassed and so they can write superheroes straight. I find it refreshing since in the “superhero” genre, unlike the “people with powers” genre, you can actually write stories where good triumphs over evil without feeling the need to throw a cynical backhand into it to remind everyone that you are an adult and you really do know how the real world works.

  7. Bill Williams Says:

    I’m glad you posted on the fun B&B comic. It’s an example of what you can do when you’re not carrying around a five gallon bucket of continuity.

  8. Johanna Says:

    Jer, it’s precisely because I know how the real world works that I need the wonderful fantasy of superheroes! Excellent points.

  9. James Schee Says:

    I need to try B&B soon, especially after hearing about an episode where Neil Patrick Harris played a singing villain.

  10. Anthony Says:

    Johanna: Ace’s “robin” appeared in two episodes—a young robin that Ace rescued that wanted to become Ace’s sidekick, to Ace’s great reluctance (Ace giving the “I work alone” line, or *trying* to). Hilarity ensues. :-)

  11. Johanna Says:

    Oh, the Ace episodes were my absolute favorite Krypto cartoons. A dog who can fly, yeah, ok, but a dog who wanted to be Batman! Now that was funny! It sounds like his Robin was a kind of Bat-Mite, almost, an annoying pest who just wanted to help.

  12. All-New Brave and the Bold Continues DC’s Kids Line » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] same fun, energetic vein as the hit cartoon television program”. I guess that means no more wacky, forgotten guest stars, only those well-known ones that will draw the numbers. ANBBATB (hee hee) launches in […]




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